A new free school is set to be built on the former site of a rugby league ground in Hull after plans were approved by city councillors.

The Boulevard stadium was home to Super League side Hull FC until 2003 when the team moved to the new KC Stadium which is also used by the city's football team Hull City AFC. Following a petition the Boulevard was reopened as a greyhound stadium in 2007 but was condemned for demolition in 2010 and work to break down the ground began shortly afterward.

Now the site is set to be home to a £10 million new free school in the Humberside city after councillors agreed to the approval of the West Hull project. It will see the transfer of the site's lease over to the new school as part of a peppercorn rent, a small nominal fee. Developers hope that the 600-pupil school will be able to open its doors in time for the academic year starting in 2014, subject to the Boulevard's detailed planning permission being approved.

Council leader Steve Brady said: "Whether we like it or not, this is going to happen. We know many people oppose the principal of free schools but the government would find it pretty unusual for a city to be turning this down in an area where we are fighting tooth and nail to get regeneration funding put back in."

The work has been funded by a government grant which will see £9.2 million given to the Hull Free School project through the Department for Education which will build and equip the facility once complete.

It comes after education minister Michael Gove announced the 261 schools that were successful applicants of the Priority School Building Programme (PSBP), which included six schools in Kingston upon Hull. The schools will be entitled to a share of the £2 billion earmarked to help improve the standards of the buildings of these education facilities across the country.

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